According to LIMRA International, 68 million adult Americans have no life insurance. 68 million!
The number is so big, I called LIMRA to verify. That’s right, they said, 68 million.
Is there a silent crisis here, or what?
Let’s look deeper. As of August 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the country’s entire population to be nearly 302.5 million. Some 80+ million of that total represents young people, ages 19 and under, leaving roughly 220 million adults.
So, nearly a third–31%–of all American adults seemingly have no life insurance. (That percentage would be even higher if we omit adults age 65 and up.)
If one believes that life insurance is a financial security fundamental for most American adults, in their dying and in their living, then these numbers are worrisome, if not crisis-making. When untimely death occurs and there is no life insurance, the surviving family members (and business partners) suffer loss not only of the loved one but also of financial stability. The repercussions can be devastating.
Of course, some people believe life insurance is a waste of money. Others think it’s a “nice to have,” but only if affordable and only after fixed expenses are covered. People can get along just fine without it, they say. Even the presence of the newer living benefit features–which pay benefits while the insured is still alive–doesn’t seem to sway their opinion.
So, which camp is in the lead?
LIMRA’s most recent sales statistics show that life insurance premium and total face amount were both up in the 2nd quarter 2007, by 5% and 6%, respectively, over year-earlier figures. That’s positive news.
But the number of life policies sold actually fell by 1% in the same quarter, says LIMRA. In 2006, new policies sold also fell by 1% from year-earlier figures. This is definitely not positive news, especially in view of the 68 million adults who don’t have life insurance. It suggests that the life insurance naysayers are gaining ground.